Digital Planning

How to Close Social Media Accounts When Someone Has Died

What happens to our social media accounts when we pass on? For most people, social media profiles play a large role in our lives.

Your online presence is, for better or worse, where individuals look to understand you. Dealing with this data, in both life and afterward, is important. This, paired with the fact that many have their social media accounts tied to various payment methods, often leaves family members wondering how they can deactivate these accounts after someone’s death. This guide will explain how to close major social media accounts.

Instagram 

Instagram will memorialise an account upon instruction, and the creation of the proper documentation. You will need:

  • Birth and death certificates of the deceased.
  • Proof of authority to act on their behalf.

They'll leave the account online, so that you could still access their updates and photographs, but will disable the account to protect it from being hacked.

Twitter

With approximately 310 million active users, Twitter is a significant networking site too. They do have a policy of deactivating an account after about six months of inactivity, but it can be launched again if someone hacks into the account later on.

To make sure it is closed, it is much better to request official deactivation or deletion from Twitter. Without an email address and password, you'll need:

  • The username.
  • A death certificate.
  • A copy of your own ID (passport or driving license).
  • A signed statement with your information and the reason for deactivation.
  • A link to an obituary regarding the individual in question.

This needs to be delivered to Twitter in their San Francisco address or faxed to them directly.

Facebook

As the world's largest social media networking site, Facebook is the one most commonly required to be deactivated by grieving friends or family.

You may take a Facebook account out of action by either deactivation or deletion. You can also memorialise the account.

It is easy to do all these things if you have the person's email address and password, but if you do not you will need some additional information, such as:

  • A birth certificate.
  • A death certificate, or link to an obituary or news article about their passing.
  • Proof of authority to act upon their behalf.

If you choose to keep the account active but in memorial, other family and friends can still look back through the deceased's photos and updates. It is also possible to put a statement at the top of the page, like a date for a memorial service, and you can even let new friends and family members connect to their accounts post mortem so that they may get to know them better.

LinkedIn

You can simply close a basic LinkedIn account by providing the following information:

  • Member name.
  • URL of the profile.
  • Your relationship to them.
  • Their email address.
  • The date they died.
  • A link to their obituary.
  • The name of the firm they last worked at.

If the user was a premium member, the account will initially have to be downgraded to basic before it can be deleted. If you have the username and password, you can do this in the account settings page. If you don't have login details, you'll require the assistance of LinkedIn customer support.

Pinterest

Pinterest never delete inactive accounts, so if you want it protected, it is crucial that you get in touch with them. You will need to provide certain information so as to close the account on behalf of a deceased loved one.

  • Their full name and email address, as well as your own name.
  • A link to their Pinterest account.
  • Documentation of their passing, such as a death certificate or obituary.
  • Proof of your relationship, like a birth or marriage certificate, family tree or household records.

Again, Pinterest will not completely destroy the account, but it will deactivate it, giving you reassurance that it is not in danger of compromise.